Preparing your home for selling success

22 September 2016

When putting one’s house on the market the primary objectives are usually selling your home quickly and efficiently and, hopefully, at a price that ensures you make a profit.

Richard Hardie, Manager at Knight Frank Residential South Africa’s Atlantic Seaboard branch, cautions that failing to plan for a successful sell will hamper your chances of getting the right results:

“You have to project that image of the perfect home. Remember: making your house desirable and positioning it as a good investment are key here. If you want an appealing offer, then it is time to roll up your sleeves and get your home ready for that perfect sell.”

Hardie shares some tips on how to position your home as a prime property:

Perfect pricing

Before looking at the exterior and interior of your home, first consider the selling price you have in mind. “It is no secret that when selling a property, you must be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers but it is important to get your asking price correct and listen to the advice of your agent who has researched the market comparing what has sold in your area. If the property is priced correctly, the offer achieved will either be close to your asking price or the asking price and above. It is better to generate multiple interest rather than market the property too high to begin with which can often be an adverse strategy,” says Hardie.

Outside view

Start with the basics. What is the first impression you get when entering your home? Is the grass mown and are the flower beds attended to? Make sure your garden looks easy to maintain and if you are selling in winter, try as much as possible to get rid of withered plants and dead leaves. Also consider your paint work, cleanliness of windows, everything that you would notice if the shoe was on the other foot.

Tidy up inside

Your home must be spotless – don’t cut corners. Clean the floors and windows, make sure there is no dirty laundry laying around and that all dishes are packed away. Open up rooms to let as much inviting light in as possible. If it is a family home, then buyers will sympathise but it is important to get the basics right.

“If there any repairs that urgently need to be done, it is best to action these immediately so that you are not creating unnecessary negativity in the minds of the buyer. The last thing you need is someone peeking into a room or opening cupboard and the door coming off the hinges. Keep in mind that bathrooms and kitchens are notorious deal-breakers when people are considering a buy, so ensure these areas are clean, ventilated and any patches that need grouting have been fixed,” suggests Hardie.

If time allows, consider applying a fresh coat of paint to walls that need freshening up – this applies to outside walls too.

Clutter-free

A home that is filled with clutter can make a house look smaller and lacking in space, not to mention messy. Declutter as much as possible – throw away unnecessary items, such as old magazines and newspapers. It is often a chance to have a good clear out as if you were packing up and moving.

Be helpful

“Potential buyers might not be clued up about the area in which your house is located, it is important that your agent tells them about nearby attractions, amenities and other places of interest. Knowing that they are close to, say, good schools or shopping centres, can certainly help the deal,” shares Hardie. He also adds that a buyer likes to view a property without the owner being present so they feel comfortable to look without the pressure of the owner being present and potentially interfering.

Keep up appearances

“The bottom-line is that you will have to maintain your home’s exceptional demeanour until it is sold – all the effort will be worthwhile. Make sure you make a good impression each time – you will then be guaranteed of obtaining the price you want in the time frame you desire,” concludes Hardie.